Influence Of Gender Differences Self-Esteem And Closeness Of Relationship On Self-Disclosure

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This study investigated the influence of self-esteem, closeness of relationships and gender on self-disclosure. One hundred and fifty-three students (81 males and 72 females) of Caritas University with a mean age of 19.54 years participated in the study.

The instruments used to measure the variables were the modified version of the Marital Self Disclosure Questionnaire (MSDQ) (Waring, Holden, & Wesley, 1998) and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Morris & Rosenberg, 1965) and the Closeness of Relationship Scale, developed by the researchers. The research adopted a survey design and the data were analyzed using ANOVA statistics. The results indicated that self-disclosure and gender influenced self-disclosure among young people. There was no significant influence of self-esteem on self-disclosure. The results also showed an interaction between gender and closeness of relationship on self-disclosure.

Relationships are essential to an individual’s general satisfaction with life. Relationships also range from best friends to casual and influence the decisions we make and the way in which we see ourselves (Kenrick & Trost, 2000). Relationships differ in the degree of closeness and satisfaction (Kendrick & Trost, 2000). Some relationships such as friendships, start out as casual before becoming intimate. The type and lengths of relationships people form are greatly influenced by their personal expectations. People expect their relationships to fulfill different purposes and thus react according to their personal expectations for every relationship (Knapp, 1984; Rands & Levinger, 1979).

People tend to be satisfied when their relationships are going well and unsatisfied when their relationships are not going well. Thus, relationships are important because they help people to be optimistic about life and they come with attendant rewards (Cramer, 1998). Rewards are the amount of pleasure and satisfaction derived from a relationship. The rewards of close relationships include companionship, life satisfaction, and self-esteem.

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